Businesses remain optimisitic in September
September 29, 2014 By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery
Sept. 29, 2014, Toronto – Small business owners held on to their optimism in September, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).
September’s Business Barometer reading held steady at 65.6, up a fraction of a point from August’s reading of 65.5.
“These fairly consistent readings over the last two months suggest the economy is growing at a moderate pace,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB’s chief economist and vice-president. “We’re also seeing gradually improving conditions in other areas, such as employment plans—nineteen per cent of owners are expecting to hire more full-time staff over the next few months, which is a positive finding for this time of year.”
Measured on a scale of zero to 100, an index level above 50 means owners expecting their businesses’ performance to be stronger in the next year outnumber those expecting weaker performance. According to past results, index levels normally range between 65 and 70 when the economy is growing at its potential.
September readings have seen slight gains across the country, with Newfoundland and Labrador barometer readings once again leading the nation (74.2). In other parts of the country, optimism is also on the rise: Nova Scotia (63.5), New Brunswick (59.8), Manitoba (65.8), Saskatchewan (68.2), Alberta (73.8) and British Columbia (70.9).
Optimism in Prince Edward Island (PEI), however, continues to decline, reaching its lowest level since the fall of 2013 (53.8).
Quebec’s small business confidence level holds steady (60.5), as does Ontario’s (65.2).
“What’s interesting this month—and indicates economic stability—is that the health and education, retail and manufacturing sectors are the most optimistic,” added Mallett. “It’s a diverse grouping. Also, more than 80 per cent of business owners consider order books and accounts receivables to be better or better than normal – the highest proportions we’ve seen so far in the current business cycle.”
September 2014 findings are based on 1,022 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received through Sept. 15. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.1 per cent 19 times in 20.
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